commitees

Committees

State law defines a committee as a person or group of persons who receive or spend a certain amount of money in an attempt to influence the outcome of an election. In addition to campaign committees that are controlled by candidates, other types of committees include:

ballot measure committees,

general purpose committees,

primarily formed committees, and

independent expenditure committees.

REQUIREMENTS

Record Keeping

Committees must create and maintain records that indicate compliance with the campaign finance laws and must provide those records to the Ethics Commission upon request. A person who supplies goods or services to a committee in connection with a campaign must also maintain records of the committee’s expenditures. Records must be maintained for at least four years.

Training

Candidates and their committee treasurers are required to complete a training conducted by the Ethics Commission in each election cycle that the candidate seeks a City or LAUSD office.

Disclosure

Committees must file three types of disclosure statements. Detailed filing requirements are provided under “What Do I File?”. Information disclosed by committees may be accessed through the Public Data Portal.

  • Organization

    A committee must file a CA Form 410 (Statement of Organization) with the Secretary of State once it meets the dollar threshold for qualification. Committees that are active in City or LAUSD elections must also file a copy with the Ethics Commission.

  • Financial Activity

    Committees are required to periodically disclose their financial activity, including expenditures, contributions, and specific information about contributors. CA Form 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement Long Form) must be filed at least twice per year (more frequently in an election cycle). Other disclosures may be triggered by specific activity, including CA Form 497 (24-hour Contribution Report) and CA Form 511 (Paid Spokesperson Report). Committees are also required to notify contributors of $5,000 or more that the contributors may have their own disclosure obligations.

  • Communications

    A committee must publicly disclose its political communications. Each communication must include a disclaimer that identifies the committee and its significant contributors. Mandatory disclaimer language can be found here. In addition, a copy of the communication must be filed with the Ethics Commission. Additional disclosure is required for independent expenditure communications.

LIMITATIONS

Different limitations apply to different types of committees. Limitations that apply to candidate committees, officeholder committees, and legal defense committees are discussed on the candidate and officeholder pages. Please contact the Ethics Commission for more information about limitations that apply to those and other types of committees.

ELECTION TOTALS

WHAT DO I FILE?

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For questions regarding specific scenarios, please contact us prior to taking action.

  • I am a candidate running for City office. What information must my committee obtain for contributions that it receives?

    Committees are required to obtain the name, address, occupation, and employer of each contributor, as well as the date and amount of each contribution. You may not deposit or otherwise negotiate a contribution until you have that information on file. If you are a candidate who is participating in the matching funds program, your committee is also required to obtain a certification from each contributor that the information provided is accurate and that the address is the residence address.

  • Is my committee required to file campaign statements electronically?

    A City committee is required to file electronically if it raises or spends at least $10,000. An LAUSD committee is required to file electronically if it raises or spends at least $25,000. Your committee may voluntarily file electronically if it has not met the mandatory threshold. Electronic filings are submitted through the Campaign Electronic Filing System (CEFS).

  • How can my committee obtain a user ID to file electronically?

    You must submit a Form 18 (Application for CEFS ID). Once you have filed this form, you will receive a login and password.

  • When are committees required to file disclosure statements?

    Reporting deadlines are specified in state and City laws. The Filing Schedule identifies deadlines and reporting periods for the most recent election.

  • Do City committees have to post their political communications online?

    Yes. City committees are required to electronically file every political communication that meets a disclosure threshold. Campaign, officeholder, and legal defense communications must be filed if they are distributed to 200 or more persons. Independent expenditure communications must be filed if expenditures of $1,000 or more have been made or incurred or if expenditures of $100 or more have been made or incurred and the communication was distributed to 1,000 or more (or, if distributed by a committee, 200 or more) persons. Depending on when a political communication is made, it must be filed within either 24 hours or five days after it is first distributed. Detailed filing requirements are provided under “What Do I File?”.

PUBLIC DATA PORTAL

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REQUIREMENTS

Record Keeping

Committees must create and maintain records that indicate compliance with the campaign finance laws and must provide those records to the Ethics Commission upon request. A person who supplies goods or services to a committee in connection with a campaign must also maintain records of the committee’s expenditures. Records must be maintained for at least four years.

Training

Candidates and their committee treasurers are required to complete a training conducted by the Ethics Commission in each election cycle that the candidate seeks a City or LAUSD office.

Disclosure

Committees must file three types of disclosure statements. Detailed filing requirements are provided under “What Do I File?”. Information disclosed by committees may be accessed through the Public Data Portal.

  • Organization

    A committee must file a CA Form 410 (Statement of Organization) with the Secretary of State once it meets the dollar threshold for qualification. Committees that are active in City or LAUSD elections must also file a copy with the Ethics Commission.

  • Financial Activity

    Committees are required to periodically disclose their financial activity, including expenditures, contributions, and specific information about contributors. CA Form 460 (Recipient Committee Campaign Statement Long Form) must be filed at least twice per year (more frequently in an election cycle). Other disclosures may be triggered by specific activity, including CA Form 497 (24-hour Contribution Report) and CA Form 511 (Paid Spokesperson Report). Committees are also required to notify contributors of $5,000 or more that the contributors may have their own disclosure obligations.

  • Communications

    A committee must publicly disclose its political communications. Each communication must include a disclaimer that identifies the committee and its significant contributors. Mandatory disclaimer language can be found here. In addition, a copy of the communication must be filed with the Ethics Commission. Additional disclosure is required for independent expenditure communications.

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LIMITATIONS

Different limitations apply to different types of committees. Limitations that apply to candidate committees, officeholder committees, and legal defense committees are discussed on the candidate and officeholder pages. Please contact the Ethics Commission for more information about limitations that apply to those and other types of committees.

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WHAT DO I FILE?

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

For questions regarding specific scenarios, please contact us prior to taking action.

  • I am a candidate running for City office. What information must my committee obtain for contributions that it receives?

    Committees are required to obtain the name, address, occupation, and employer of each contributor, as well as the date and amount of each contribution. You may not deposit or otherwise negotiate a contribution until you have that information on file. If you are a candidate who is participating in the matching funds program, your committee is also required to obtain a certification from each contributor that the information provided is accurate and that the address is the residence address.

  • Is my committee required to file campaign statements electronically?

    A City committee is required to file electronically if it raises or spends at least $10,000. An LAUSD committee is required to file electronically if it raises or spends at least $25,000. Your committee may voluntarily file electronically if it has not met the mandatory threshold. Electronic filings are submitted through the Campaign Electronic Filing System (CEFS).

  • How can my committee obtain a user ID to file electronically?

    You must submit a Form 18 (Application for CEFS ID). Once you have filed this form, you will receive a login and password.

  • When are committees required to file disclosure statements?

    Reporting deadlines are specified in state and City laws. The Filing Schedule identifies deadlines and reporting periods for the most recent election.

  • Do City committees have to post their political communications online?

    Yes. City committees are required to electronically file every political communication that meets a disclosure threshold. Campaign, officeholder, and legal defense communications must be filed if they are distributed to 200 or more persons. Independent expenditure communications must be filed if expenditures of $1,000 or more have been made or incurred or if expenditures of $100 or more have been made or incurred and the communication was distributed to 1,000 or more (or, if distributed by a committee, 200 or more) persons. Depending on when a political communication is made, it must be filed within either 24 hours or five days after it is first distributed. Detailed filing requirements are provided under “What Do I File?”.

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PUBLIC DATA PORTAL

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